Clay Center's first power plant only housed the city’s well water supply. When Clay Center began generating its own power, the Public Utilities added the required equipment. After additions of equipment in 1931 the building reached its capacity. In 1935 a record setting flood entered the building and completely shut down the plant and loss of power to the city. In February 1940, Burns and McDonnell indicated that the existing plant could not be extended due to the size limitations and flood hazard. They recommended that a new plant be built on the hill across the street from the present location with new steam generator, turbine generator, and auxiliaries. Work began on the new plant in 1941 but was curtailed due to World War II. The new plant was completed in 1946.
In 2004 the power plant did a major upgrade in purchasing a FM-MANN skid mounted dual feed generator.